I’ve recently gotten into this new graphic novel series, Alex & Ada. This series is set in a futuristic world where androids (artificial intelligence) have been tweaked to pass for human beings. Because of a historical battle prior, all androids are made to wear a tattoo-like mark on their wrist and must show it at all times, to be recognized.
Alex, a recently single young man who is still battling emotions from his prior relationship, is birthday-gifted a humanoid android, state of the art, by his grandmother. His grandmother currently uses the companionship of her android that she feels it’s a great idea. Alex, who is very hesitant at first to keep his new companion, because of prior history with androids going rogue and killing humans; after a hard thought, he decides upon keeping her and calling her Ada.
Ada, at first wants to please Alex in any way. It frustrates Alex when Ada is unsure and is unable to think for herself. Alex finds an underground group that can hack Ada’s mind and agrees to start the process of Ada being sentient. It’s a long winded process and has huge side effects, which are still being worked with. After the hack is done, Ada seems to have her own thoughts. Alex is aware of all the trouble he can get in with the authorities but Alex wants to give Ada a chance to be a normal being, than just a household item. One can say that in terms of social learning theory, Baron-Cohen’s Model of Theory of Mind, discussing visual attraction, human’s first learn like a robot. As we grow older, we adapt a more sophisticated way of learning by implementing gaze following, mixed with didactic gestures, different aspects of spatial abilities and other extensions of specific learning. In a symbolic sense, Ada is going through the stages of humanoid thought/social learning. It is interesting when Alex makes her all the food he knows how to, she eats it all and likes everything but oranges.
Ada is continuing to learn, which it seems exciting to even me, the reader. I’m curious on how she interprets her new emotions and how she evaluates her thought patterns.